these pieces are a joke
might hold a fall
will rip out under body weight
And to think. There are people out there would like to install bolts at the 'Gunks and deprive us all of this sublime pleasure.
Dana, I hear you. I do appreciate the Preserve holding the line on bolting but then I do spend a lot of time on Cannon and up in North Conway so I am use to relying on one's own wits and skill. New Hampshire is of course the "Live Free Or Die" state.
That said on Ruby Saturday I would not have proceeded to make the moves if I wasn't very confident the nut would have held what would have been a pretty short fall since the consequences of having the nut pull would have likely been pretty severe. And yes I have climbed above gear as you describe at the Gunks but only when confident that the piece after such "head gear" was solid and the fall would be clean. In fact I have the tendency to eschew placing the head gear and just climb on it such situations. Pump clock versus marginal gear calculus and all that.
For instance is it really worth fiddling with a nut behind the flexing flake on Apoplexy or getting the pink tricam in the pocket versus climbing through? Not that the pump clock is really ticking from that stance.
To keep it in perspective however, I had to work to get the nut in on Ruby Saturday. The feet were tenuous and I was locked off with my left hand on a okay crimp while fiddling with the nut. If memory serves me correctly I was up and down 4 or 5 times fiddling with it, setting it, getting the extended draw on it and clipping it. It was warm in the sun. I got quite the work out and had definitely broke a sweat before I was ready to move up. Earlier in my trad career I would have soiled my pants and backed off.
Looking forward to going back and doing it again. Looking forward to doing the 2nd pitch this time as well. My partner took it but backed off due to concerns about gear and went out left and then back right. He had a red C3 under his feet and directly about the belay. I followed through the normal line and spotted a small pocket up right that would have protected the moves up to pin. Perhaps the black alien would go in there.